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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Marquette's NCAA Tournament hopes all but gone thanks to loss to Xavier

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NEW YORK -- The Marquette men's basketball team was one-and-done at the Big East Conference Tournament, losing to Xavier last night 68-to-65 in New York. The loss appeared to eliminate any hope for an N-C-A-A Tournament bid for the first time in Coach Buzz Williams' six seasons with the Golden Eagles. At 17-and-15, Williams now hopes Marquette can get an N-I-T bid on Sunday night. In his words, "I want to keep playing." Marquette had a one-point lead midway through the second half against Xavier. The Musketeers then went ahead for good with a 10-to-3 run. Marquette lost despite shooting 58-percent. They committed 15 turnovers, and did not get to the free throw line nearly as much as the Musketeers. The Eagles hit 8-of-14 from the stripe, while Xavier was 17-of-23. Justin Martin scored 19 points to help the third-seeded Musketeers improve to 21-and-11. They'll advance to tonight's Big East semi-finals against Number-two Creighton. Deonte Burton scored a career-high 23 points for Marquette. Todd Mayo added 21.
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______________________ Wisconsin will play Minnesota at 5:30 this evening in the quarter-finals of the Big Ten men's basketball tournament in Indianapolis. The second-seeded Badgers had a bye in yesterday's opening round. Bo Ryan's team still has hopes for a Number-One seed in the N-C-A-A Tournament -- but they might have to reach the title game in the conference tourney to be considered. The Gophers have the Number-seven seed. They beat 10th-seeded Penn State 63-to-56 in Round-One last evening. Minnesota led by 11 with just under four minutes to play, but did not seal its victory until Andre Hollins made a three-pointer with 11-point-seven seconds left. Minnesota and Wisconsin split their two regular season contests. The Gophers had the upper hand in a physical 81-to-68 win in Minneapolis on January 22nd. The Badgers came back with a 78-70 win in Madison on February 13th.

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Whitefish Bay Dominican remains in contention for a third consecutive boys' state high school basketball crown. The Knights advanced to the Division-Four title game last night with a 78-to-47 victory over Brillion at the semi-finals in Madison. Diamond Stone scored 18 of his game-high 30 points in the first half for Dominican, which will play Blair-Taylor tomorrow for the D-Four championship. Blair-Taylor advanced with a 47-32 win over Unity. The Wildcats had a 21-6 run in the first quarter and never looked back.

In Division-Five, Green Bay Northeast Wisconsin Lutheran will play Thorp for the title tomorrow. Both schools won their semi-finals yesterday. Dakota Zinzer scored 33 points for NEW Lutheran in a 77-63 victory over Sheboygan Lutheran. Thorp advanced by edging Cochrane-Fountain City 54-52. Dakota Lindgren led Thorp with 17 points and 16 rebounds.

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Boys' semi-finals are on tap today in three other divisions. Manitowoc Roncalli plays Brown Deer in the first Division-Three semi at 9:05 this morning, and then Elk Mound plays Lodi. The Division-Two semi-finals will be played this afternoon. Wisconsin Lutheran faces West De Pere, and Rice Lakes faces Greendale. Tonight, Germantown continues its quest for a third straight Division-One title as it takes on Milwaukee King. Neenah and Mukwonago close out the evening in the other D-One semi. Title games in all five divisions are set for tomorrow at Madison's Kohl Center.

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There was one notable upset last night as the sectional round began in the girls' state high school basketball playoffs. Racine Prairie, the top-ranked school in Division-Four, lost to Whitefish Bay Dominican 35-34. The A-P Number-Ones in the other four divisions all survived. And so did all three defending champions who were still alive going into the evening. In Division-Two, top-ranked Green Bay Notre Dame remained in contention for a second straight title with a 55-37 victory over Milwaukee Pulaski. Division-Four titlist Algoma won its sectional opener, as did returning Division-Five champ Wisconsin Rapids Assumption. The four top-ranked survivors are Kimberly, Neillsville, Barneveld, and Notre Dame. They're among 40 schools to compete tomorrow for spots at next week's girls' state tournament in Green Bay.

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The Milwaukee Bucks lost their sixth straight game against Atlanta, 102-to-97 last night at Philips Arena. There were nine lead changes during a five minute stretch in the fourth quarter. The Hawks went in front for good when Kyle Korver hit a three-pointer with 2:15 left. That sparked a 15-to-8 Atlanta run to end the game. The Bucks put a tight defense on the high-scoring Korver all night, but he broke through to score 12 of his 15 points in the final six-plus minutes. It ruined a homecoming for Bucks' coach Larry Drew, who spent nine years as a Hawks' assistant and head coach until moving to Milwaukee last summer. Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 22 points and eight assists. Ersan Ilyasova led Milwaukee with 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Bucks only made 3-of-19 from three-point territory, while Atlanta hit 13-of-29 from beyond the arc. The Bucks have dropped seven of their last nine, falling to an N-B-A-worst 13-and-52. They'll play at New York tomorrow.

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The Milwaukee Brewers ended a four-game exhibition losing streak with an 8-to-nothing rout of the San Diego Padres yesterday in Peoria Arizona. Marco Estrada gave up five hits in five-and-two-thirds innings, with three strikeouts. Scooter Gennett hit back-to-back R-B-I doubles after coming into the game hitting just .125. Jeff Bianchi also had a pair of R-B-I's for the Brewers, who named Yovani Gallardo yesterday as their Opening Day starter for the fifth straight year. Milwaukee is now 7-and-9 in Cactus League games this spring. They'll play Arizona this afternoon.

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The Green Bay Packers struck new deals with three of their unrestricted free agents week. Tight end Andrew Quarless was the latest to sign. He inked a two-year deal yesterday worth three-million dollars. About 350-thousand of it is guaranteed. Quarless had his best season in 2013, filling in after Jermichael Finley's devastating neck injury in late October. Quarless, a fourth-year pro, caught 32 passes for 312 yards and a pair of touchdowns -- both of which came in come-from-behind victories over Atlanta and Dallas. Media reports said Packers' G-M Ted Thompson used about a third of his 34-million dollars in salary cap space to keep four Packers from leaving. Corner Sam Shields and linebacker Mike Neal re-upped in the past week, and restricted free agent linebacker Jamari Lattimore was given a one-point-four million dollar tender offer. Green Bay has only lost one player to free agency so far. Safety M-D Jennings went to Chicago, after the Packers refused to give the restricted free agent a tender for this fall.

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Former Packers' All-Pro safety Darren Sharper will stay in jail in Los Angeles. A judge in L-A ordered the 38-year-old Sharper to remain held without bond, as he awaits further court action on charges that he drugged and raped two women last October in southern California. Sharper was indicted this week on similar allegations involving two women in Tempe Arizona last November. He also faces sexual assault investigations in Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Miami.

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Two Wisconsin P-G-A golfers struggled during their opening rounds yesterday at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor Florida. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson and Jerry Kelly of Madison are both tied for 130th, after shooting five-over-par 76's. Four players share the lead at three-under -- Matt Every, Pat Perez, Greg Chalmers, and Danny Lee.

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